2-7 Ethical and Social Framework
NWMO Roundtable on Ethics
The Roundtable on Ethics is composed of individuals expert in the field of ethics in a variety of disciplines. The Roundtable’s role is to assist the NWMO in the development and application of the analytical framework which will be used to assess the management approaches. The Roundtable on Ethics will help the NWMO make explicit, and ensure, the systematic integration of ethical considerations in the development and application of the framework.
The Roundtable will meet several times over the study period in order to provide advice and feedback to the NWMO throughout the study process. Members of the Roundtable have been appointed by, and report to, the president of the NWMO. Roundtable comments to the NWMO will be summarized and published here for your review and consideration.
The Ethical and Social Framework suggested by the Roundtable
After ten years of study and public hearings on the concept of deep geological disposal of used nuclear fuel (1989 - 1998), an Environmental Assessment Panel chaired by Blair Seaborn (the "Seaborn Panel") concluded in their 1998 report that the concept did not have sufficient public support to allow the government to proceed. The Panel identified the absence of any ethical and social framework within which to assess options as an important issue.
The Roundtable has identified what the relevant ethical standards are, in its judgment, and organized them into the Ethical and Social Framework called for by the Seaborn report. Rather than issue what could appear to be dogmatic statements, the Framework expresses the ethical standards concerned as a series of questions for the NWMO to ask itself. The Framework was first published by the NWMO in April, 2004. It is a living document. The Roundtable revisits it regularly and comments are always welcome.